Late Motivation 

Late Motivation 

How was your Easter weekend? Mine was fantastic, but it meant that I forgot to blog yesterday- sorry about that! I thought I’d post tonight instead, with a round up of my training from last week.

Monday was WAR. This is such a good way to start my week, I’m really feeling the benefit of the HIIT style tracks and the strength training: my arms and shoulders are stronger than they have ever been and I know the squats and lunges are paying off. I’m pushing hard, and leaving each section shaking and sweating, but I still have work to do, especially with the tricep work. I’m determined to keep building on what we are achieving so far in this session. It’s ace!

On Tuesday I ran a strong four miles in 38:55, which was better than I expected. I was running comfortably and didn’t push too hard, but want to keep the intensity on track which I think I did. 

Wednesday was a 5k run to West Loch Tarbert with Jog Scotland. This was at a comfortable talking pace which was perfect after the stronger run the evening before. The run was over before I knew it: I really look forward to my Wednesday night social runs with JogScotland.

PiYo and VeraFlow was off on Thursday due to the Easter break and so I headed out around the village for a walk which was good. I needed the break and so I listened to my body and focussed on active recovery.

Friday was a day of getting organised, but I thought I’d get in some cross training so did 30 minutes on the indoor bike. It will never be my favourite type of exercise, but I understand the benefits and so I have been just getting on with it!

On Saturday we were able to get to Victoria Park ParkRun and I was in two minds about how I’d run with a week to go before the Great Edinburgh Run. I decided to see how I coped with a sub 30 minute 5k and it turned out that it was very comfortable indeed! I was able to chat easily, and I could have easily pushed harder but to know that I can now run sub 30 minutes again shows me how far I’ve come in the past four months, I’ve knocked at least 5 or 6 minutes off my 5k time. I still have a way to go to reach my 5k PB time of 26:11 but I think I *could* have run around 28 minutes 😉 Big thanks to the 30 min pacer- she was absolutely ace!

Easter Sunday was all about family time, but I squeezed in a walk around Glasgow’s West End, in the pouring rain. And then I ate. A lot. We had Mexican food which made a change for our family: for starters I had chicken rice balls, which were like arincini followed by a spicy cod dish served with rice and finished lunch with creme egg cheesecake! Wow, it was awesome! I also had a few margaritas and a few of us had tequila shots…… as you do! Eek!  Just immediate family for dinner 🙂

After an after party at LADs house (and a couple of gins) we headed off to Ryan’s gig in Merchant City: it was amazing! They were awesome! 

On Monday @TheWelshWookie and I had some shopping to do, but when we arrived back in Tarbert we headed out for a lovely walk, soaking up the last of the bank holiday sunshine. We had stopped off at the George Hotel in Inveraray for lunch, which was ace! We definitely over indulged this weekend. 

Tonight, I headed out for an easy 5k but ended up with another four miles in the bag, at a pace of 9:22. I didn’t plan that pace, my legs just wanted to run so I went with it 🙂

I know that balance is everything- and I’ve rounded up tonight by eating half of a Lindt teddy. I don’t mind admitting it- it’s the first major chocolate fest since Christmas and I feel a bit sick after it….. not my best idea, but It is all about balance, isn’t it? At least that’s the choccie overload out of the way 🙂

I’m looking forward to getting back on track for the rest of this week, before the Great Edinburgh Run on Sunday. 

Here’s a little motivation if you’re struggling after the weekend:

 Have a great week!

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Race Report: The Great North Run 2015

Race Report: The Great North Run 2015

Date: 13th September 2015

Profile: Flat

Terrain: Road

Weather: Warm and sunny

Website: greatrun.org

Positives: excellent organisation, first class support, seems like the whole of Newcastle, Gateshead and South Shields get behind the event

Negatives: I hate to complain about sunshine, but it was unanticipated, and I could have done without it!

As with many runners, the Great North Run has been on my bucket list for years. I had secured a lace last year, but had to defer after I picked up an injury. So, I felt more than ready and a bit overwhelmed as the date for this race came around. To add to all of that, the news that Mo Farah was running just made it even more special.

The lead up to the event was great, with frequent emails from the Great Run team and numerous social media posts about the event really meant I was looking forward to it, and very excited. @TheWelshWookie and I had booked the ‘coach, sleep and run’ package from Glasgow, via Nirvana Europe, and we didn’t quite know what to expect. We knew that our accommodation would be in Newcastle University halls of residence, which were very near the start line, and we were open to just seeing how the weekend turned out. It was excellent, and I can’t recommend the Nirvana Europe package highly enough.

We arrived at Buchanan Bus Station on Saturday morning, and spotted our bus right away:  

 We were first at the bus stance, but before long, a few other runners arrived. There were 10 of us on the bus, and it was a great crowd of friendly, supportive runners – as I’m sure you’d expect. Due to the low numbers, the coach had been subbed for a minibus (albeit a nice, comfy one), and our driver, Frank introduced himself. He’d been drafted in at short notice, and – to be honest – didn’t have much of a clue about where he was going. But, being a friendly bunch, mobiles were used as sat navs, to get us to where we were going.

Anyway, we made it to Newcastle, and to our digs, which were at Castle Leazes. We were warmly welcomed, and headed to the check in area where we were given our room keys and a goody bag:  

  That was a lovely wee surprise! There were plenty of staff on hand to continue with the welcome, and to make sure we found our rooms ok. The rooms were basic, as you’d expect, but ideal, with a bed, sink, desk, shelves, etc. There was plenty of tea and coffee available in the communal kitchen area, which was welcome.  

 In the evening, @TheWelshWookie and I headed out into the city, to find our bearings. We easily found the start line, and snapped a picture of what would be the start muster in only a few hours:  

 We then wandered through the city centre, and down to see the iconic landmarks at the quayside, such as the millennium bridge, and the Sage building:  

 We noticed that there was someone on the roof of the Sage building. Imagine our surprise when we got home and watched back the coverage to discover that it was none other than fellow runner and thoroughly good bloke, Professor Brian Cox, recording the opening scenes for the TV coverage! 😀   

  After a quick bite to eat, we took a lovely stroll up past St James’ Park, and back to the halls of residence for an early night. 

 As ever, I had my race gear ready to go the night before: 

 We were up at a decent time, and had arranged to get our bags back to the mini bus at 8am, so that Frank could get the bus out before the roads were closed, and we arranged to all meet back at the South Shields pick up point by 3pm or 3.30pm for departure. We then went to the refectory for breakfast. There was a brilliant spread: while we stuck to our usual breakfast of fruit and yoghurt, there was plenty of porridge and bananas being consumed, as well as some folks enjoying a full cooked breakfast 😮

Wee were grateful for the Newcastle Uni goody bags, as we could use these for some snacks and a change of clothes at the finish line. The forecast was for grey, cloudy skies and cool temperatures, so I thought we’d need something warm to change into. It had been very chilly when we put our bags onto the mini bus. Little did we know that this was going to change!

But, as we had decided to take bags, we had to get these onto the baggage buses by 10.10am. So, at around 9.50am, we strolled up to the start area, which had been totally transformed from the evening before. We easily found the right buses, and stashed our bags. I remembered to take a photo in case I couldn’t remember where the bags were:  

  And then we made our way into the starting pen. As we did so, the sun broke through the clouds, and the heat began to build. There were plenty of large screens by each pen, which was fantastic: it really kept you entertained as you waited. I also did my first ever Periscope broadcast, and having watched it back, I definitely need to give more thought to what I’m doing in future. It was fun 🙂

    
  Anyway, we watched the start of the ladies’ race and the ‘wheels of steel’ wheelchair race, and eventually it as time for the start of the men’s and mass participation race. I was great to watch Mo Farah et al actually start, knowing we’d be passing through the start soon! Then, the Red Arrows were overhead, and looked fantastic: 

 Well, when I say soon, it took our wave over half an hour to get to the start line! As we walked towards the start, there was a real mixture of excitement and a touch of angst as I realised that the sun was staying out, and I had no sun cream on. Ooops!

The support right from the beginning was amazing. As we ran through the tunnels and underpasses of the first mile or two, there was a lot of supportive ‘Oggie, oggie, oggies’ which was amazing! I had such a huge smile on my face!

The support as we ran over the Tyne Bridge was unbelievable – the streets were full, and nowhere on the course was unsupported. As we got to mile three, we had an impromptu pit stop so the ‘TheWelshWookie’ could use the facilities. And then, at mile four, it was my turn to stop. But, I stopped at the St. John’s Ambulance tent, in search of some sun cream. Fortunately, they carry sachets of Factor 30, God bless them!

Once I was suitably smothered in cream, we could get back to the run, and into our rhythm. After two early stops, and a crowded field, as well as a hot, hot day, we decided to just take the run easy, and make the most of it – savour the atmosphere. And that’s what we did.

We waved as we passed charity buses, we sang along as we passed the many music points, including joining in with ‘Sex on Fire’ and ‘Just Can’t Get Enough’ amongst other tunes. We high fived many, many kids who lined the route. It was awesome!

We were blown away by the support. And the food! Wow! I have never seen so many people with so much food for runners. Yes, there were tons of jelly babies and jelly beans. But there were also people handing out ice lollies and ice poles, polo mints, fresh lemonade, a young guy even offered us a can of Strongbow! 😉

Our favourite was the lady offering fresh sausage rolls, telling us that they were lovely – she sounded just like Sarah Millican! 😉 It was just awesome!

I won’t say that this race flew by – it didn’t. Miles 6 – 9 did, but there were a couple of tough points, too, particularly the hill at mile 11. It wasn’t as bad as I had expected, but it was tough. Just then, the Red Arrows were back overhead, and their aerial display really kept us entertained.

Then, there was the downhill stretch towards the sea, which was tough on the joint at that stage, and we found ourselves running the final mile along the water front. The support was outstanding.
We could hear music behind us, getting closer, and as it did so, it changed to ‘Uptown Funk’. Just what we needed for the final stretch! So, there we were, belting it out as we ran along the front, when we realised that the music was from a runner pushing another participant in a wheelchair. Wowee! And, yes, they did overtake us!

Then we were at the finish, and we crossed the line, in true Mobot style. Wow. I have goosebumps thinking about it now 🙂

There was a short walk from the finish to the medal collection, where @TheWelshWookie and I had to split up, as we were funnelled through the finish by t-shirt size. I collected my medal, give to me by a young guy with a hearty ‘well done’, which he must have said hundreds or thousands of times already.

We met back up again, and then walked to the baggage buses to retrieve our gear. There was a huge changing area, which was great, as I could get into some comfy clothes for the bus journey home. We then made our way to the bus, to find that only two guys had gotten there before us! So, we had time to chill out, have some snacks, and enjoy the sun, before boarding the bus back to Glasgow.

Here’s a map of the race: 

  Our stats: 2:39:01 my slowest HM to date, but that didn’t matter in the slightest

The Medal: 

 Goody Bag: Lucozade, water, crisps, cereal bar, samples and leaflets: 

 T-shirt: A pretty cool finisher’s medal. Excuse the wild hair – I’d taken off my visor, and the wind picked up just as I was having my pic taken! 😮  

  
I had left my Nike SportWatch in my room (which the staff kindly returned to me), so I used my Nike App to record the run. I’m not sure what happened, as it recorded the run as almost 15 miles!

I can understand why people rate the GNR so highly. I really is the King of Half Marathons. If you ever get the chance to run it, take that opportunity! And if you have run it, what were your thoughts about it? I’d love to hear them.

Monday Motivation 

Monday Motivation 

Hello! How was your weekend? Mine was out-of-this-world awesome! 

I cannot believe that I’ve now run the Great North Run. Wow. It was such an amazing event and the whole of the North East seemed to be out, supporting us.

And I can now say I’ve run in the same race as Mo Farah and David Weir. Squeeeeee!

I’ll fill you in with a race report later, once I’ve calmed down a little 😉

I’ve eased off my tired muscles with my regular Clubbercise class, and I’m so glad I did. It’s such great fun and I took it easy tonight. My muscles definitely feel better for it.

Here’s how I’m feeling today:  
I’m feeling proud of all of the hard work that all of the runners put into the training as well as the run itself. Well done everyone! 

Monday Motivation 

Monday Motivation 

Hello, what a quick week it has been! I hope all of you guys over the pond are enjoying Labor Day today- it seems to have marked the end of summer here too; we have glorious sunshine, but there’s a slight nip in the air. Autumn is on its way.

We are now T-6 until the Great North Run, this time next week it will all be over. I’m really looking forward to it, I’ve heard so many great things about the course and the support!

Last week was a good one for me, from a training perspective. All of my classes were back in full swing, and I can genuinely say that I had DOMS from last Saturday right through until the Friday, and they affected most muscle groups at some point. Ouch, but good ouch! 
This week I’m taking it a little easy, and saving myself for Sunday. Don’t get me wrong, I still plan to work hard at my classes, and I won’t be going on a huge carb binge, but I will be sensible and taper.

For anyone else running a race next weekend:

 Run your run!

Monday Motivation

Monday Motivation

How’s your Monday been? Mine has been great 🙂

Did you have a fun weekend? We had some brilliant family time on Saturday, with the annual Mass my dad organises, followed by a family party. We were very fortunate with the weather: we were able to sit outside for a while, and the boys had great fun on the bouncy castle, and playing with the outdoor toys.

On Sunday we had a diverted route home, which took us on two ferries. Unfortunately there had been road closures, one of which was as a result of a fatality. It took us much longer than usual to make our way home, but we made the most of it, by enjoying the sunshine, the scenery and even the hospitality at Portavadie, where we stopped off for a coffee (for @TheWelshWookie) and a glass of vino (for me) on our way to the second ferry. Diversions are just part of the experience of living in Argyll, particularly at this time of year when the roads are busy.  

 Tonight, we did a four miler, so our last full week’s training for the Great North Run is on track. However, I have a trip away at the end of the week so I’ll be packing my trainers and trying to squeeze in a little run at some point.  

 I saw this last week, and thought it would be perfect for boosting motivation, so here it is:  

 Have a fabulous week!

Monday Motivation

Monday Motivation

How are you all feeling after the weekend? Did you manage a run?

For us, we had our local running weekend. It kicked off on the Friday, with the ‘Dookers Dash’ races for children. By all accounts it was great fun, with t-shirts and medals for all! Unfortunately, I missed it, as work got in the way, as it does 😉

However, Saturday morning broke with beautiful sunshine, which was a lovely change! The Tarbert 5K and 10K is now in it’s third year, and the previous two years have been wet and miserable – particularly last year. So, the sunshine made a welcome visit, and we headed into the village, ready to run.

When we had collected our bibs the night before, I had said that we had to get some extra mileage in to keep our half marathon training on track. One of the wonderful race organisers, Lorraine, suggested that we tag along at the back of the 5k, before getting the 10k done. What a brilliant idea!

So that’s exactly what we did. We ran the fast, flat 5k route, but took it easy, and stayed towards the back of the pack. Then we had a quick change into fresh tops and trail shoes for the mixed surface 10k. And it was fantastic! As ever, the support, the marshalling and the organisation was second to none – these girls can give the big events a good run for a lot more money! We did the 5k in 33.15, which, even though it was taking it easy, was 3 minutes faster than my recent ParkRun time. Woop!

I don’t want to go into any more detail now – I’ll save that for my race report. But if you’re after a challenging, multi terrain 10K which is well organised and supported, I’d tell you to add this one onto your list. Well worth it, especially for the gorgeous tablet at the end!

I feel like our half marathon training is going OK after Saturday. @TheWelshWookie and I had lost some ground last week due to having nasty colds, but running the two races on Saturday really boosted my confidence. I think we could easily have gone further had we wanted to. I want to get out at least three times this week, maybe four if we can, as I won’t get a long run in this Saturday. We’ll do a final long run of 10 or 11 miles or so a week on Saturday, and then we should be all ready for our first Great North Run. Yay!

If you need a little boost to get you out the door this week, here it is:  

 Have a wonderful week!

Monday Motivation 

Monday Motivation 

Hi everyone, welcome to a fresh week and to sick bay 😉

Yes, the lurgy has struck, which is unusual- it’s not very often that @TheWelshWookie and I are sick, but we’re currently nursing brilliantly bad colds. But at least that’s something we’ll get over quickly. Could be much worse!

But it has made a dent in our training plans :/ Last run for me was Thursday’s four miles. Ok, so it was more of a walk/run, but I was happy to get the miles under my belt before the cold fully kicked in. I’m having another rest day today, but I’m planning on getting back on track with a run or a walk/run tomorrow. Wish me luck! 🙂 With a month to go until the GNR, I’m keen to keep on track as much as I can, and to manage a couple more long runs this weekend coming and the next one too. 

Here’s exactly how I’m thinking at the moment: 

 Have a great week!

Monday Motivation

Monday Motivation

Hello, how was your weekend?

Mine was fab, thanks. We had visitors: my BFF Pauline, her hubby Gavin, Olivia and Christopher. We had a blast! And, I think we were really good – we ate well (80/20 of course, mostly healthy with a few G and Ts) and we were active too. On Saturday, Olivia and Christopher joined in at our SUPercise session, which was brilliant fun. Both did so well!

  
In the afternoon, we then had a good walk into Lochgilphead. It was pouring with rain, we were soaked, but it was good to get a solid 10K or so in the bag.

Tonight, @TheWelshWookie and I ran a solid four miles around the harbour. I really enjoyed it, and feel in control, with six weeks to go until the Great North Run.

  
Tomorrow calls for a seven miler, so keep your fingers crossed for a dry day 🙂

Here’s a little something to help get your week started:

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Have a wonderful week!

Monday Motivation

Monday Motivation

Greetings from the Scottish Borders!

I’m in this beautiful part of the world until tomorrow, and so this blog post is coming from somewhere a little different today 🙂

How was your weekend? I filled you in on Saturday evening with my week’s antics, and yesterday mostly involved me squeezing in my three mile walk before heading off on my little work adventure.

Did you enjoy World Gin Day? I was very well behaved, and only had one gin. I was very tempted to have more, but I reckon that I was worn out from my SUPercise and running! 🙂

Today is the start of week 5 training for me – the week’s subitile is ‘Test Your Limits’. Eeek! I’m planning to fit in a fur miler tonight, but that may or may not happen. If it doesn’t, I’ll make up for it later in the week, and it will mark my first missed session of this training plan. Go me!

In other news, @TheWelshWookie and I have booked our travel and accommodation for the Great North Run – Yay!

Here’s something I found last week, and loved:

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Monday Motivation 

Monday Motivation 

Evening, all.

It’s that time of year again: half marathon training is GO! And it kicks off with a rest day, hurrah!

Our next half is the Mull of Kintyre half marathon, which sold out in a couple of hours. It’s consistently voted best half in Britain, and includes a beach run 😮

I’ve done the 10k before, but never the half- I’m quite excited about it!

We’ve also secured places in the Great North Run and will be signing up for the Great Scottish Run too. It should be a great year- if I can fit into my running gear, that is!

@TheWelshWookie secured a GNR charity place and so we are going to run and raise funds for Marie Curie Cancer Care. I’ll keep you posted on our progress. 

Here’s a little something to celebrate a special birthday today:



I love that ;)